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The Lake News Online
  • Lake view: School budgeting a challenging task

  • I would like to state one more time my feelings towards the upcoming Camdenton School Board election. I have walked in the shoes of such membership. When I was first elected, I went to every workshop and seminar that the Missouri School Board Association offered.
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  • Greetings to all,
    I would like to state one more time my feelings towards the upcoming Camdenton School Board election. I have walked in the shoes of such membership. When I was first elected, I went to every workshop and seminar that the Missouri School Board Association offered.
    The primary reason for the Missouri School Board Association is to assist civilian-elected people become wise school guardians. There are many facets to running a school especially one the size of Camdenton R-III. We need intelligent school administrators who can recognize and recommend quality teachers as well as compose a school budget. The school budget is a complicated instrument. It has four separate accounts and there are laws that dictate how each can be used. After nine years on the board, I could truthfully say that I understood the mechanics of school budgeting, but I could never have had to prepare such a budget.
    The so called Watchdog group that is currently out there, is making many false accusations. They say that they have not received answers to their questions. The truth is they have had answers, but just did not like them.
    For example, they allege that $1 million was taken from the school teachers' insurance fund and used incorrectly and that this caused a hardship on the teachers, both current and retired. They add that these dollars were from contributions from the teachers. This is incorrect. There was over $3 million in the fund that was all from the school.
    The teachers' portion is itemized separately. Of that $3 million, only $1 million was needed to fund the insurance portion the year they refer to in their accusation. And yes, there was a need for funds in a different area. The portion of the budget where those funds are kept allows the board via the administration to transfer them out for another use. This action would not have been done if the board/administrators were not sure there would be funds at a later date for insurance purposes if needed. Remember, funding comes into the school system at the end of every year via tax receipts. This group insists that this action should not have happened and it has caused a hardship to the teachers. This is totally incorrect.
    I will not go into detail to everything that I have heard. I just do know that they do not understand the complexities of the school budget process.
    The Camdenton School budget is $46,168,534. Please reread that figure. School administrators must take several courses in budgeting to know how to prepare and administer such budgets. I doubt seriously that anyone outside of educated administrators could prepare such a budget.
    This self-appointed authority group scares me greatly. They state that it is fine to micro-manage. It is not. They do not have a clue about managing a school system the size of Camdenton either in personnel size or budget size.
    Page 2 of 2 - They have already caused the deputy (assistant) superintendent to resign from the hateful emails that he received from this group. Currently this Watchdog group has three of the seven board positions filled. If they get four of the seats filled from that group, I shudder to think what will happen to Camdenton R-III. Camdenton always had the "cream of the crop" apply for any position it had open. This is already changing. We had an extremely low response to fill this vacant position.
    If this group gets four members elected then they will have a majority. I suspect that several administrators may resign. And since word is already around Missouri about the board composition and its actions, top-notched people will not apply. The board of education's responsibility is to hire people to run the school, not try to run it themselves. What kind of school system will we have if we hire less than adequate people?
    I, for one, would like Camdenton R-III to remain an outstanding school system. I truly fear for its future if certain people are elected. Please vote for Nancy Masterson and Tom Williams.

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